Every day, I thank my stars that my children grew to be such voracious readers. We buy books, we exchange with friends, borrow from libraries, buy used books from flea markets and consume books in all formats, printed books, books on kindle, ebooks on other apps and audiobooks too. There’s no greater joy for me than providing my avid readers with more to read.
My daughter is 7 and prefers books with some pictures in them. My 9-year-old son is an information nerd and loves to read non-fiction books that help him cram his head full of facts. In addition to regular storybooks, they both also love graphic novels and comics and are basically big on re-reading books. Some books they re-read almost every day. And that, in my opinion, is an unquestionable measure of a book’s worth. A book that’s been re-read over and over is a well-loved book and a decidedly worthwhile investment.
A book that is re-read over and over is a decidedly worthwhile investment.
The books I’m listing here today are book series and not standalone books. There’s something about book series especially in box sets that I find so incredibly fulfilling. It’s probably the fact that a set of books stacked or lined up together in a neat row is a small visual treat. It’s also the accomplishment of checking all the boxes, reading all the books in a series.
Now, since box sets are indeed an investment in terms of both time and money, I hope that this list, drawn up with bona fide feedback from the kidfolk, will come in handy. So, down to business.
Here is the list of books that my kids (7 and 9 years old) re-read all the time, in a sketchy order of age/reading level. Scroll to the bottom if you want to see just the list of books.
- Secret Seven Series by Enid Blyton — Enid Blyton books are a rite of passage for all young children in my country. The Secret Seven series were good beginner series for my kids as they graduated from picture books and short story collections and wanted to level up with book-length stories. The mystery keeps the kids engaged.
2. Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne — This is a brilliant series about two time-travelling siblings (don’t pooh-pooh on it yet, the kids love it) who time-travel to when significant world events are unfolding and help solve problems while there(then?). So informative and utterly engrossing.
3. Merlin Missions by Mary Pope Osborne — Another series by the same author, similarly brilliant and sort of a run-on of the previous series with some newer characters and a slightly more complex storyline.
4. Famous Five by Enid Blyton — Also a mystery series by Enid Blyton. These are for older kids, so a bit more elaborate. Also quite funny.
5. Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner — This series has over 130 books. I don’t even know precisely how many, just that to own all of them I’ll have to sell some furniture and use the books as furniture instead. It is unlikely that we will ever be able to finish the whole series in one lifetime so it's not even a goal. Nevertheless, each of these mystery books is fairly informative and quite enjoyable. We first started this one on Audible and the funny thing is I have never been able to change that. I never managed to get the kids to ‘read’ these books, they developed such a very strong association of this particular series in audiobook format. There’s another short parallel series of these same books, called The Great Adventure Series with longer adventures and slightly more intricate plots.
6. The Adventure Series by Enid Blyton — Yet another Enid Blyton mystery series for slightly older kids. Very vivid characters and funny too. Sorry, if you’re not an Enid Blyton fan, but I believe each of these has earned their place here.
7. Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke — This series of 3 books, is my 7-year-old’s one true love. The central character in these is a little but strong girl who goes on an interplanetary mission to rescue her best friend. A story of friendship and loyalty full of adventure.
8. Tintin by Herge — Tintin probably needs no introduction. Its a comic series, yes, but one that can’t be dismissed as frivolous. Tintin is riveting, extremely intelligent and intuitive about the politics and culture of the time. Granted, its too much to expect the little ones to comprehend the multi-layered complexities of the series but its an engrossing for kids 8+years old. Not only that, Tintin is a fairly decent role model exhibiting values like honour, intelligence and loyalty. And to Herge’s credit is the fact that Tintin landed on the moon, a good seventeen years before Neil Armstrong did. The only thing I’d like you to be cognizant of before committing is Captain Haddock and his unhealthy dependence on alcohol.
9. Childcraft Encyclopedia — This series has been around for so long and is still as good as it was 30 years ago. Ours is an heirloom set that my husband grew up reading. The great thing about it is that the information presented is specifically tailored for children to pique their curiosity and give them just the amount they can grasp. A worthwhile investment that many homeschooling parents swear by.
10. Amulet by Kazuo Kabuishi — One random book from this 8 volume graphic novel series, caught our eye at a flea market and we bought it for next-to-nothing. We never imagined that it would be such a big hit with both our kids, that we’d end up buying the whole series which would then get duly devoured in no time at all, many times over. This is for slightly older kids.
11. Harry Potter by J.K Rowling — Listing Harry Potter like this seems like an affront to the series. It is, after all, the book that broke a hundred records. The kids read the first few books quite early on and that was great. But I wanted to hold off on the later books until they were a bit older, book #4 onwards but caved fairly quickly. With much trepidation and after some research (I never got around to reading the last few myself) I let my older one read all the books in the 7 volume series and then some. Needless to say, he loves them all and picks one up at random now and then. I have (so far) managed to hold off on the later movies though.
The Time Life Early Learning Program Books are wonderful for 3-4 years and older. Some volumes teach kids to read, some build scientific knowledge, some teach them to tell the time, some are just laugh out loud funny.
The kids also love the Geronimo Stilton series. This series is great for 5–7 year-olds who are just levelling up from little-kids books.
Also worth mentioning are The Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the Tom Gates books. Both are fun reads, very engaging and enjoyable, even for us parents. The kids love to re-read them all the time but their mean mom keeps them out of reach and plans to keep it that way until they’re a bit older. Why? Good question. Because I feel that the kids talk and behave differently when they’re reading books from these two series. And not in a good way. I hope it’s not a universal problem.
- Secret Seven Series by Enid Blyton
- Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne
- Merlin Missions by Mary Pope Osborne
- Famous Five by Enid Blyton
- Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
- The Adventure Series by Enid Blyton
- Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
- Tintin by Herge
- Childcraft Encyclopedia
- Amulet by Kazuo Kabuishi
- Harry Potter by J.K Rowling
Some books here are the usual suspects that you already know of and some may be new. Some descriptions you may agree with and some you may not. In any case, I’d love to hear from you.
Are there any favourites your children love to re-read?
Love and good vibes.